Top 10 Lessons For Corporate/NGO Settlements

by | Apr 24, 2007

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Ten years ago, top executives of three distinct Mitsubishi companies, the targets of a boycott by Rainforest Action Network, sat down with RAN’s leaders and hammered out an agreement that drove more sustainable forestry practices at 400 companies, created a new system for measuring corporate environmental and social impacts, and produced a template for negotiated corporate/NGO settlements, Ethical Corporation reports.

Here are the article’s top ten lessons for people involved in such negotiations today:

#1: It is more effective to focus on the problem, rather than the fairness of the process.

#2: In your first meeting, expect each other to express pent-up frustrations.

#3: Make an inventory of your assets and liabilities.

#4: If direct engagement is not acceptable at first, there are many ways to engage indirectly and informally.

#5: Engagement often veers between extremes of optimism and pessimism, before taking a realistic course.

#6: Do not insist on forcing together incompatible corporate partners.

#7: Once you have demonised the other side, you may have trouble rallying your supporters around an agreement.

#8: Look for, and be aware of, how sustainability initiatives can save money, drive needed change, and give competitive advantage.

#9: Stakeholder agreements are often more effective and adaptive than laws and regulations.

#10: Be sure to embed commitment to agreements as deeply within the company as possible.

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